The PD Women In Business Series is an interview-style blog series on the Pangea Dreams blog that highlights female entrepreneurs who have joined us on Retreats over the past several years. In this series, we will get to know these Alumni better and learn about the incredible businesses that they are running.
- Current Position: Entrepreneur/CEO – Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Professional Taste Tester, Content Creator behind Chia’s Eats + Event Planner/Wedding Coordinator behind Chiantelle Nicole Events
- Currently Living: Vancouver, BC
- Hometown: Vancouver, BC (fun fact: born in Saudi Arabia though!)
Hey Chiantelle! We are so excited to have you featured in this series! Can you tell our community a little background about you and how you started your business(es)?
Hi! My name is Chiantelle and I’m what people would call a multi-passionate entrepreneur. As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Professional Taste Tester, I help people rediscover the joys of food through sharing nutritional information and approachable & delicious recipes.
Everyone has a story worth sharing and something worth celebrating, and I love bringing people’s vision to life through events. Supporting local, eco-sustainability, and giving back to the community are also important to me and are some of the pillars of my businesses.
If there were 3 words that I would use to describe myself they would be: achiever, learner, and connector (any enneagram 3s out there?!). Before starting my businesses I was in university for my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a background in the natural & applied sciences.
While in university, I got really sick (I’m talking losing 15 pounds within a week and the diagnosis I got was overexhaustion, IBS and a sensitivity to gluten & dairy). I didn’t want my body to rely on medication and realized that I could look at food in a more therapeutic way.
Through all my research on alternative medicine and holistic nutrition, I pursued the path to becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist through the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
I was always involved in creating and coordinating events through family & friends’ birthdays, special occasions, and not-for-profit/charity organizations. It wasn’t until my friends started to get married that I really got into wedding planning officially.
After a lot of encouragement from my family & friends to really look into making it a business, I decided to get certified through the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and furthered my education with hands-on training at Planner Life Academy (formally known as LVL Academy).
I started sharing my story and my journey on social media when I started to participate in pageantry back in 2015, and have been using my platforms ever since to connect with people/brands with a similar vision and values.
Have you always been entrepreneurial? What led you to take that first step and setting up your own business?
In some ways, I was entrepreneurial but didn’t realize it at first. I remember when I was in the sixth grade where we had to create an autobiography and one section was about what you wanted to be when you grew up. I wrote down that I wanted to be an event planner (specifically for weddings), a pastry chef, and a hairstylist – all at the same time!
My parents instilled in me for as long as I can remember that I needed to study hard and get good grades so that I can get a great job where it paid me well and would allow me to provide for my future family one day. I thought that it was the way to go at the same time, my parents are business owners themselves and through them, I saw what having your own business was like.
After years of ups and downs, getting my health back into gear, and just really understanding/embracing who I was and what I was meant to do, I decided to pursue one of my childhood dreams of becoming a wedding planner in Fall 2017, officially launched my business in January 2018, and the journey continues!
If any, what challenges have you experienced as a woman in business during your overall career?
The biggest challenge for me was advocating for myself. I’ve had some tell me that what I wanted to do was just a hobby, that it’s not a real job, and that it’s not sustainable. I’ve also been told on numerous occasions that I should stay where I’m at, to “know my place,” and that what I’m doing for me is “a conflict of interest.”
For years I internalized it and would face major imposter syndrome. What helped me gain my confidence back was the self-realization that I am capable & worthy, that standing up for me was not selfish, and the people I surround myself with is important.
Where would you say your business was at before the Pangea Dreams Retreat and where would you say your business was after?
I attended the October 2018 Week 2 Bali Retreat with Pangea and before this retreat, I was at a place where I just started my events and weddings business. I was already collaborating with brands and companies through pageantry. However as the years went on, I was starting to become even more intrigued with content creation + digital marketing, especially when it comes to Chia’s Eats.
When I found out about Pangea Dreams through Kat Gaskin’s Instagram, I knew I had to get myself on a retreat! I went on the retreat wanting to learn more about the industry – how women were paid to travel the world, experiencing life and sharing it with others, and what it really meant to be a digital entrepreneur.
I left that retreat with way more than that personally and professionally. I met so many amazing women from all different walks of life, backgrounds, experiences, and goals yet the mission of being their best self and living life intentionally was there.
While the retreat ended, the community didn’t and I felt so inspired to keep going and really pursue my goals and ambitions. I knew it was going to take a lot of hard work, clarity, and discipline, but the retreat reminded me of what was possible; the foundation was set and I hit the ground running.
I also attended the second alumni retreat in Palm Springs January of 2020. I had hit year 2 of my events and weddings business plus officially had my designation as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
This retreat allowed me to dig deeper into my businesses and gain further clarity on the direction of my businesses. Deep in my gut, I knew that it was the year that I really had to give my businesses the attention it deserved.
What is one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs just starting out in their journey?
Be mindful of who you surround yourself with and with how you utilize your time. Celebrate your wins both big and small, ask for help whenever you need it, and remember to take care of you.
Anything else we should know?
This year I’m focusing more on Chia’s Eats and have two exciting campaigns! I’m currently working on the first campaign called Chia’s Cookbooks where I eat, review and share one cookbook a month.
If you have any recommendations on what cookbook I should try next, I’d love your input! My second campaign will be launching in Summer 2021 and if you love food and travel, this one’s for you!
How can someone get in touch with you?
Personal IG: @chiantelle
Business IG: @chiaseats @chiaseventsandweddings
www.chiaseats.com / www.chiantellenicoleevents.com
Thank you, Chiantelle!
Chiantelle Rey of Chia’s Eats, Chiantelle Nicole Events (& more!!) is a Pangea Dreams Bali Retreat Alumni.